My Story: Be Your Own Boss

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Up until my late 20s, I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. It changed like the wind blew. Some things sounded cool, but pinning down the actual career felt way too definite, almost like a prison sentence. I was in awe of friends that just knew what their career path was. The one thing I did know was I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle living that “Office Space” life. That movie opened my eyes to what I didn’t want, and I’m thankful to Mike Judge for telling his story.

What I did know was working a job that didn’t make me happy was not an option. I had plenty of jobs where the anxiety would sink in on Saturday night with the realization that my weekend was almost over. The thought of returning to work made me nauseous. When Monday morning rolled around, the stomach knots were even worse. No one should feel that way before work and no amount of money should justify these feelings. Ultimately, what it came down to was all that anxiety was rooted in the fact I was working towards someone else’s dream, and not mine. Granted, the things I learned at those jobs are still with me today, and while some caused borderline PTSD, I learned a lot. I pull from those experiences daily, and after some time, I've realized I’m grateful for them. It was humbling, but more than anything, I’m glad I took the plunge and got out. Well, total transparency, my last job made me leave, but damn it was for the best because that's when I got to take the time to figure out my small biz plan.


I became my own boss in January 2015 when I started Cascade Creative in Portland, OR. My previous employer was closing its marketing department and outsourcing it to an agency. It was a hard hit, butt hurt ego, all that crap, but at the same time, I knew I was going to get unemployment, and that would give me some time to get my business going. I realize the cards don't always fall like that for people, and you have to find other ways to work a job and start a business. It's hard, but you can do it. What I realized was when the universe opens a door, you can either see the silver lining and channel all your anxiety to fuel a significant change, or you can mope around, brush up your resume, and find another job just like your last one. The latter was not an option for me.


I've been my own boss for over four years and what I love is that Saturday is just a Saturday, Monday is simply a Monday. All that stress is gone because I wake up and love what I do. When I look back, I think all the anxiety wasn't the job I was in, but my subconscious telling me, "this is not what you're supposed to be doing." I knew way back in 2008 I wanted to help small businesses with their marketing. I was scared to do it because I wasn't confident in my abilities. I knew I had a lot to learn. I didn't know Photoshop, let alone the know-how to communicate administratively (this is very important if you want to succeed). I had to have all those jobs, work with all those people, to gain the knowledge I use today to make my little business go!

Do you have a small biz idea you've been considering, but don't know how to get the ball rolling? While I provide graphic, web, and social media services, I truly see myself as a cheerleader for your business. If you're just getting started, I'd love to hear your story. I'm happy to provide any pearls of wisdom to help you get the momentum you need to make your small biz dream a reality!